Babbacombe Lee [Bonus Tracks]

Babbacombe Lee [Bonus Tracks]

by Fairport ConventionFairport Convention

CD(Remastered / Bonus Tracks / German Import)

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Fairport Convention's only concept album was built around the story of John "Babbacombe" Lee, a convicted killer who survived three attempts to hang him. Cut by the four-man Fairport lineup of Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg, the original album was a self-contained work with a specific beginning and ending. It's also never been much more than cult item in the group's early catalog, despite some spirited playing on "Little Did I Think," "I Was Sixteen, Pt. 2," "St. Ninian's Isle/Trumpet Hornpipe," and "Sailor's Alphabet." The slipcased "Island Remasters" keeps the concept and the original album's content intact -- with killer sound as expected, and each song now getting its own index number -- and appends a pair of bonus tracks that justify the purchase. The first is "Farewell to a Poor Man's Son," a "lost" song by the group from the BBC program on John Lee that was the inspiration for the album, and "Breakfast in Mayfair," both from an earlier lineup of the band featuring Jerry Donahue. Additionally, "Breakfast in Mayfair" features Sandy Denny's singing, in a haunting falsetto. Those tracks, unfortunately, have not been preserved from first-generation archival sources, and some restoration has been necessary, and they still don't sound as crisp as the rest of the official album now does. But since there were no other suitable sources, this is the only way you're ever likely to hear those two addenda to the original album.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/31/2004
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602498215012
catalogNumber: 9821501
Rank: 60555

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